Harrogate Wedding Photographer
Welcome to this huge information resource from Harrogate Wedding Photographer Paul Chantrey. Within this epic guide to wedding photography around the Harrogate area you will find the following information:
- About Harrogate
- Harrogate wedding venues
- Why choose Paul
- About Paul
- What is included in the wedding photography package
- What a typical wedding coverage looks like
- Morning preparation
- Ceremony photographs
- Canopes and drink reception
- Group shots & how I handle your guests
- Your couple portraits
- Speeches and the wedding breakfast
- What happens before the evening party starts
- First dance and the evening party
- Backing up your wedding photographs
- Bonus: tips for other wedding photographers
Introduction to this guide:
With me becoming a more in demand Harrogate Wedding Photographer I wanted to give you some in depth information about how I work and what to expect on your wedding day, when it comes to photography of course. It is also a goal of mine to help share information to other photographers who perhaps haven’t been in the wedding industry as long as myself. However, the primary goal is to serve you, the couple, with as much information as you need in order to choose the right Harrogate Wedding Photographer.
I guess the following information is more for people who don’t live in the town or who are just wanting to have a little nosey about how incredible this part of the world is. As many of us will know Harrogate is a spa town situated in North Yorkshire. But did you know that historically it was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Originally it was part of two smaller settlements, High Harrogate and Low Harrogate in the 17th century. Did you know that since 2013 the town has been consistently voted as the “happiest place to live” in Britain. There is more information about Harrogate as a town with this Wikipedia article.
Harrogate Wedding Venues:
As a Harrogate Wedding Photographer I am privileged to work in an incredible part of the country. Fact. Below is a list of Harrogate wedding venues which I have either worked at or am booked to photograph weddings in the future.
- St George Hotel
- White Hart Hotel
- Rudding Park
- Ripley Castle
- Goldsborough Hall
- Allerton Castle
- The Crown Hotel
- The Old Swan Hotel
- The Majestic Hotel
- Cedar Court Pavillions
- Newby Hall
Why Choose Paul To Be Your Harrogate Wedding Photographer?
Throughout the rest of this guide you will find bits of information that will help you choose your Harrogate wedding photographer. It is my hope that it will be myself. One of the key aspects is whether or not you like my style of wedding photography. I encourage you to take a good look around my website to get used to my style. I’m based just around the corner and am also used to travelling all across this incredible county of Yorkshire. Autocorrect almost corrected that to say country then. I was very tempted to leave it in haha. You will note that a lot of my work is natural and unposed. Simply, I would have you both have fun rather then me ask you to get into some crazy angles and poses. Also, have a good look at my epic night portraits. These are getting more and more referrals my way as this is a skill which I have quite literally obsessed over.
I’ll keep this relatively simple. Me and my wife met in a club. She thought I was gay and would be her BFF. I thought I had pulled. We married in 2004 and have 4 incredible children. Life can be manic at times but it is always fun. Since leaving the corporate day job and pursuing wedding photography full time this has made me a better person. I am much happier and many people comment just how much I appear to love what I do, right up to when I am packing up at the end of a long day. And it’s true. I do love what I do.
What is included in the wedding photography package:
Unlike my own wedding photographs I like to be there to capture all of your day. I will be there typically 2 hours before your wedding ceremony to get preparation photographs and will leave at some point beyond first dance. In summer I tend to take my couples out for some night time portraits after first dance and the next few songs have been. Once you are catching a breather I will likely have you outside in the cool air (hey it is Yorkshire!) and get some epic night portraits done. You will have some sneak peeks over the next few days and fingers crossed a lovely blog post with the sneaks on, should you wish to share these with friends and family quickly after the wedding. Ideally I would have these sneak peeks the next day but due to the nature of wedding photography sometimes I have another wedding the next day. When the photographs are all edited I shall be in touch where you can download them off your gallery. You can also view this gallery which has the option of a password for you both, then a password for your wedding guests. From the gallery guests can purchase prints and products. You also get a print release on the photographs received. There is a 20 page lay flat album included too! Also, to get used to each other I throw in a complimentary pre wedding shoot too!
What does a typical wedding day look like?
This is a hard thing to describe so what I will do is break it down to sections of the day itself.
I’m usually there 2 hours before the wedding ceremony itself. From here I can capture some of the details such as shoes, dress, suits etc before they are worn. There will be lots of giggles in the morning and I love capturing this part of the day. Also, you will likely have had some of the hair and make up done so will be more comfortable with me taking photographs of you and your bridal party.
This is where I am likely to be at the discretion of whoever is conducting your wedding ceremony. Most registrars are fine with me being in the places where I need to be and they are lovely when it comes to having an open, friendly ceremony. Do bear in mind that if you are getting married in a church then I may be restricted to the sides or even the back of the church. If possible please advise your vicar that you really would like your Harrogate wedding photographer to capture your faces and not the vicars. Hopefully this might help you get the photographs that you are dreaming of. However, this can not be guaranteed. If I am facing you both then this is excellent. From here I can get a wide range of photographs and many different expressions from you both.
Canopes and drinks reception:
After the ceremony you will be congratulated by all your friends and family. Enjoy this time! It is a great opportunity for me to mingle and get photographs of the atmosphere building. In summer there is often many places outside to have some amazing photographs of guests interacting with one another. Around this time would be when we need to take your couple portraits and also your group shots. Firstly I would always recommend the groups. Which leads me nicely into the next part of this epic guide.
Group shots and how I handle guests:
Legend says that there is a bit of a reputation I have for being so fun during the group shots. Why is this? Well, when I went to a wedding as a guest in my early days of being a Harrogate wedding photographer, the group shots took forever. They dragged on for so long! It was so boring and the weather was actually hot. My wife, she is the rowdy drunk, said to me “you best not be like this Paul!” But I kind of was. Why? Well I was a bit shy at weddings. Yet I am not a shy person in real life. So instead I just became my usual self and cracked on. Trust me, you really do need someone to take charge during the group shots and I happily do that. A typical example would be as follows. I get your permission to start the groups and pre warn you how loud I will be. If I can stand somewhere then that is great. If not, I move around and do my thing. I can be loud. Very loud. It shocks people as I have such a baby face. But we have fun with it. If someone heckles me, I heckle back. If a rowdy nan is on top form then I encourage her. What I do tell everyone is that I am on their side and I promise to get them back to the bar and celebrations quickly. The lure of the bar does the trick haha!
On another note there is the on going trend of photographers selling themselves as an artist who doesn’t interfere with the day. The quotes are something like “I prefer to take miminal group shots so you can have fun at your wedding.” You really do need someone to take charge when it comes to the group shots. I am that guy. Quite a number of wedding co-ordinators have said just how good I am with group shots. Not gonna lie, I am proud of that fact. Especially when I hear the same wedding teams say “such and such asked us to gather all the family shots” time and time again.
Your couple portraits:
There are 2 types of couple portrait sessions I like to do:
- Day time portraits not long after the ceremony or as the sun is getting into golden hour position. These are your key photographs. Ideally we will be in the grounds of your wedding venue but we can take these at another location should you wish. Typically this can last 20 to 30 minutes. We can also crack out some smoke grenades aswell! If we decide to go for these shots a bit later, when the sun is on the way down, then that is great! This is called the golden hour and can create some stunning light. Many couples have already had their portrait session by this point. But I can usually be seen running to the couple pointing to the sky with the words “golden hour” on repeat!
- Night time portraits. Now these are fun. If there is a sunset brewing then I will let you know that we need to get into position quickly. Should there not be a sunset then we will wait for it to be dark and get some cool shots. There are many examples of photographs like these on my website, why not take a good look around.
Speeches and the wedding breakfast:
OK, I’m a sucker for a good wedding speech. The inquisitive person in me loves to know how you met and the funny stories. I won’t lie, I do howl during some of the funnier ones. But I am always on the look out for the reactions from yourselves and the wedding guests. The more embarrassing the better I say! During the wedding breakfast I won’t be taking photographs of you eating as that is when I will be recharging my own batteries. Also, I’ll be looking over my camera gear. There will likely be plenty of photographs of your guests mingling with their new table buddies aswell.
What happens before the evening party starts:
Usually, after the wedding breakfast there is a lull in proceedings. Don’t worry about this. In the warmer months people often mingle outside and I can get more group shots or capture the fun unfolding. In the colder months many guests often mingle around the bar or lounge areas. If a few people go for a freshen up or even a nap then I’m sure there will still be plenty going on.
First dance and the evening party:
You might have nerves going into the first dance but once it is over the party is in full swing. Personally I love it when the dancefloor is rocking! This is the point when Aunt Mable goes all crazy and one of the kids has had so many e numbers that they are doing power slides across the dancefloor, Peter Kay style! I love this part of the day and hope that every wedding has some crazy dancefloor antics.
Backing up your wedding photographs:
Photographers take note: this is mega. It is in the facebook groups that people lose images every week. Every week!!! When I am back home the first thing I do is get the computer on and download the photographs. Before having some hot food and a drink. Once they are downloaded they go onto two separate hard drives incase my computer decides to lose consciousness. I also have an offside back up plan and a cloud back up plan. It may seem OCD but one day I will call on these back ups before I have had chance to finish a couples wedding photographs. When that day comes all I will need to do is just explain that the photographs will take longer to edit. Storage is cheap, wedding photographers take note.
Bonus: tips for other wedding photographers:
This one is for you, the Harrogate wedding photographer. I’m a big believer in empowering people to learn and progress. It has helped me a lot in my wedding photography career. Here are some tips to help you success. Some of these may seem basic but trust me, not everyone follows them.
- A second camera body is not a back up. It is a second camera body. Think about it for a minute. You can’t have a back up yet use that back up all throughout the day. We wedding photographers often have 2 cameras on our person at all times. You know that rain we often have no chance but to shoot in? Well if that rain was to wreck a camera body and you only have one left, how close do you think that second camera body is to packing in aswell? How about your flashes? I’ve broke flashes. Thankfully they aren’t as expensive as a £2.5k camera body and £1k lens but they do break very easily. Have back ups.
- Learn off camera flash. Seriously this will make a big difference to your offering as a photographer. Ask yourself this, how many “natural light” photographers do you come across? You know the ones, with the VSCO edits like you get off your iPhone. Taking the time and investment to learn off camera flash will pay dividends to your work. Especially with epic night portraits.
- If you aren’t operating with insurance then get it! I may a point of showing my insurance documents to new wedding venues I work at. This is in the hope that they ask all the Uncle Bobs for it before letting them loose in a £5m estate.
- Struggling in low light at a church? Prime lenses all the way! It’s hard going from zooms to primes as zooms make things so much more easy whilst on your feet. But, when stuck in a dark church and pushing your ISO to the limits of colour loss (not noise as noise is hardly a problem nowadays) then prime lenses are your friend. You may even find that you switch to primes entirely. I could shoot a full wedding with a 35 and 85 anyday of the week.
I hope you all have enjoyed this epic guide to being a Harrogate wedding photographer. If you are looking to book your photographer then please do consider me. I’m alright.